Feb 6, 2013 2:00pm PST
unjust acts of foreign policy against smaller states-- things we're all too familiar with in the modern west. but greek artists and poets understood these things about human nature, and they made their art about those contradictions, about the tragedies and failures as well as the achievements. the sculptures of the altar of zeus from pergamum portray those contradictions in the dramatic manner of the second century b.c., but like so much greek art, the originals have been dismembered and fragmented, scattered around the museums of the world or buried deep and forgotten. some works are wonderfully preserved on the site of their origin, but most have been broken and bleached by time. it takes imagination and study to piece together these fragments and try to see them in the context of the society in which they were produced. who made these images and objects? for whom? and why? what was in the artist's mind? the patron's? how were they seen by the surrounding society? we'll be helped in answering these questions by art historians like john boardman of the ashmolean museum, oxford.
Feb 3, 2013 11:00pm PST
shipment of weapons to hezbollah in lebanon. a foreign policy analyst i spoke to earlier, asking if syria wanted to influence. >> israel will claim it does not want to intervene, that this was an action against militants, but if you look at israel's real strategy, if you put yourself in the shoes of the prime minister's national security advisers and you wanted to buttress the regime of the dictator assad because you prefer that to a democracy, the one action you would take would be an attack on the regime. it seems counterintuitive, but it is not. this lends legitimacy to bashar al-assad. from israel's perspective this seems likely. >> is it likely israel consulted washington before it attacked? >> my understanding is israel did not inform washington it was going to do this. the united states check the box and said, we support israel's right to defend itself. this was not israel defending itself. this was a pre-emptive action, and i just have to believe people in washington are quite disturbed by it. it came during hagel hearings and was politically calibrated to get the support of